Sometimes, the wrong plane will take you to the right destination. Thus, in 1977, Badi’s family was about to leave the Congo for Russia. But a change of flight would decide otherwise, forever changing the route of a lifetime. Born in Brussels – and not in Moscow – Badibanga Ndeka is a member of the collective Chant D. Loups. After collaborating with Sefyu and Youssoupha, the little rapper left the pack. In solo, he shapes his world and lays the groundwork for a real revolution. It’s because Badi has been there since the beginning. Long before the hype and triumph of Brussels rap, he was already setting the flow alongside his friend Stromae. Brought up on MTV clips and Congolese rumba, the artist has built up a sound and a solid reputation.
When it came time to conceive ‘Trouble-Fête’, his new album, Badi teamed up with the producer Boddhi Satva and his avant-garde ideas. Pioneer of afro-house, inventor of Ancestral Soul, the latter has already distinguished himself in the company of Bilal and Oumou Sangaré. Where the sounds of Boddhi Satva invite the listener to dance until dawn, Badi’s words shake consciences and upset certainties. Facetious dandy, he questions the world and shakes up trends. It’s because the Belgian doesn’t have his tongue in his pocket. The kind who sings what others whisper, who says loudly the proletariat realities, Badi smiles but is not wrong. Over lush melodies, his lyrics underline the deficiencies of a failing society. This is perfectly evidenced by Mauvaise Ambiance, the opening opus on an album driven by extra-large convictions. Between ultimate disenchantment and absolute hedonism, cry of resistance and song of heart, Badi captures the mood of the times. In line with the Black Lives Matter movement, the artist raises his voice without violence excess. Far away from controversies, away from the statues, he debunks prejudices and fights against ignorance through this great song of defiance.
At a time when identity debates firmly oppose extremes, the singer addresses the spirits questioning his origins. Exploring his Congolese roots and his daily life in Tintin’s country, Qui es-tu? encourages diversity: cultural, sexual, social – and freedom of speech. Through these subjects, Badi puts a strong stamp of identity on the whole album.
From Abidjan nights to Kinshasa avenues, from Brussels paving stones to Paris fashion shows, this rapper’s story comes from a crossroads between continents. Between Africa and the Western World, he evokes Virgil Abloh in an eponymous track; a track approved by the designer himself. Artistic director for Louis Vuitton, this man is an Haute-Couture symbol; a realm where Badi also spends some time. Indeed, since 2019, he manages the creations of the BANXV trademark, a design label inspired by the mythic Article XV, imaginary legislation that leads every Congolese to hustle in order to overcome failures of the government. Badi’s passion for clothes also takes shape in the chorus to Kitendi, an ode to the SAPE (Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elégantes, literally the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People) and a tribute to its protestor ethos.
Signed by the BBE Music (home to Roy Ayers, Madlib, J Dilla, Will.I.Am, Laurent Garnier & Carl Craig among others), Badi’s album crosses borders and may be danced to without a dictionary. If French is the mother tongue of the tracks, the rhythms in Trouble Fête are indeed universal. Rapper, entrepreneur and contemporary speaker, Badi gives the best of himself here, in continuous flow and without lockdown.